Roy Spencer Interview with Rush Limbaugh
May 11, 2007
Dr. Spencer, thanks so much for joining us today.
DR. SPENCER: You're welcome, Rush.
RUSH: Now, refresh people's
memories. You called the program once a few weeks ago discussing why you
deviate from the established belief of manmade global warming. Your
hypothesis basically is that precipitation is one of the primary factors
and the computer models don't measure precipitation because we can't
figure out -- we don't have the equipment, sophistication to even measure
-- total precipitation on the planet on a daily basis. Correct?
DR. SPENCER: Well, let's be a
little more specific than that. Basically, precipitation systems act as
the atmosphere's air conditioner. It's kind of like in your house, the air
is constantly being recycled, right? Well, precipitation systems
constantly recycle the atmosphere's air. The air you were breathing was
probably, in the last few days, going through a precipitation system.
Those systems are what cause most of the earth's greenhouse effect, which
is water vapor and clouds.
RUSH: Precisely. I remember. When
you say "most," could you attach a percentage of greenhouse-gases to water
DR. SPENCER: Over 90%. Our addition
of CO2 has enhanced the greenhouse effect by maybe 1% so far.
RUSH: Okay. So that's automobiles,
exhalation of human breath, factory smoke stacks, all these things that
we're being told are really polluting the planet are really such a small
percentage of the so-called greenhouse gases. By the way, is it a bad
thing the planet might warm up?
DR. SPENCER: I don't know. I think
that's a toss up.
RUSH: If you go back and look at --
I forget what it was called, but back in the days of the Vikings, they
were able to grow crops and so forth in Greenland, able to traverse the
North Atlantic and come to North America. The Northern Hemisphere was a
lot more fertile than it was. My point is that the idea that global
warming is destructive, calamitous and deadly is a bit absurd.
DR. SPENCER: Yes. I think a little
bit warmer would actually be better and I think the extra CO2... They
estimate crop productivity has gone up 15 percent just because of the
extra CO2 we've put in the atmosphere.
RUSH: So it's a good thing in ways.
All right. Now, I'm titillated here. Cold air, unusually cold air is
responsible for the subtropical storm off the coast of Georgia?
DR. SPENCER: Yeah. The hint there
is it's not a tropical storm; it's a subtropical storm. These things don't
usually form. It's been a few years since we've had one like this. But it
didn't happen because of unusually warm ocean water. It happened because
there was unusually cold air that came unusually far south, and there was
such a contrast between that cold air mass and the sea surface
temperatures which are running about normal in that area that then that
can lead to a storm. Remember, most storminess on the earth is related to
RUSH: Right. Unusually cold air
that came unusually far south.
DR. SPENCER: Right. If we're going
to start blaming that on global warming, then you can explain anything
with global warming.
RUSH: No, they do! You didn't hear
it, I don't think. Laurie David is blaming the Malibu wildfires on global
warming. With every weather calamity, they do two things: they portray it
as unique. They try to convince people that we're experiencing severe
weather today unlike we've ever known or the planet has ever known, and
that then is because of manmade global warming. It's a perfect political
agenda the way they've got it set up.
DR. SPENCER: Right, and you just
reminded me of a news story that came out yesterday. You may not have
noticed it. Do you remember the name Chris Landsea?
DR. SPENCER: Well, he's one of the
Hurricane Centers lead researchers and forecasters. He had quit the IPCC
because he thought it was becoming too political.
RUSH: The UN body.
DR. SPENCER: The UN bunch, right.
Anyway, he's now convinced that 2005 wasn't a "record year" for tropical
cyclones, and it's mainly because we've only had satellites which can see
the Central and Eastern Atlantic since 1970s. I've got a graphic
I can e-mail you that maybe you want to put up. The previous record year
was 1933. I've got this graphic that shows how all of those storms were in
the Western Atlantic, and then the new supposed record year, 2005, they're
everywhere. In other words, if we had satellites back in '33, there
probably would have been five or six more storms that would have been
seen, and 2005 then wouldn't be a record.
Dr. Spencer's Graphic
RUSH: We've been naming storms
since 1951. Before 1951 they were called "wind" and "rain." Now they're
called Hurricane X and Y and all of this. Well, something else about that.
We say that hurricane season starts June 1. Now, this is a statistical
thing, but it's only because of humans' desire, and probably necessity in
some places, to name things and to create boundaries for things. Something
that happens like this subtropical storm in April is said to be "unusual,"
when there have been -- since we've been paying attention to recording
these things -- I read today, 17. This is the 17th named storm --
obviously, since 1951 -- in May. So it's not unusual.
DR. SPENCER: Right, and even if it
were unusual, it's unusual from the standpoint that it was caused by
unusually cold air --
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that.
DR. SPENCER: -- not because it's
unusually warm out.
RUSH: In fact, I was watching this
thing on Saturday on an aviation website, and I saw this big lull out
there, and they had it graphically turning like a cyclone. I'm looking on
various weather sites and nobody is saying anything about it or mentioning
it. It looked pretty intimidating to me even though it was way offshore.
It wasn't a couple, three days later that it happened to be categorized
and named. But what's the difference in a subtropical storm and a tropical
DR. SPENCER: Well, like I said, a
subtropical storm forms from a contrast between sea surface temperatures
that are just warm enough, but then with a cold air mass, there's such a
big temperature contrast there that it can really feed the convection. So
it starts out as sort of a high latitude, a regular low-pressure area, and
it can sort of transition into a tropical storm. You might have remembered
a few years ago there was the supposed "first-ever hurricane" off of
RUSH: Yes, I do remember that.
DR. SPENCER: That was supposedly
due to global warming. That was another one of those things. It formed in
an unusually cold air mass and the water it was sitting over was not
RUSH: Now that you mention this, I
played golf on Sunday, and it was unusually humid and sweltery. It was,
"Drink a lot of water," on the golf course. Monday and Tuesday here, down
here in south of Florida, we had lows in the low 60s, barely got to 70.
Humidity was gone. It was unusually cold air that made it even this far
south, farther south than the storm is. I've lived here since 1997. (Here
we go with the same anecdotal stuff that the global warming people use, "I
lived here since 1997.") I don't remember ever the lows -- inland here
they got here to the high 50s in the first part of May. That's unheard of
to me since I've been here for 10 years.
DR. SPENCER: It's been unusually
cool here in Alabama. I've been here 23 years, and a couple of weeks ago,
for the first time that I saw in 23 years, we had a late freeze that froze
not just the flowers but half the trees. The new foliage died, and a lot
of these trees are not going to come back. I've never seen that happen
before. Some of them are 100-year old oak trees.
RUSH: We'll pray for them. The Gaia
has been unkind to some of her subjects. Dr. Roy Spencer from the
University of Alabama at Huntsville. Thanks for your time. It's always a
pleasure to talk to you, and it's enlightening. So the subtropical storm
out there, Andrea Mitchell, is the result of unusually cold air coming
unusually far south.